Ishtar gate in the city of New Babylon

  The Mesopotamian civilization is one of the earliest civilizations in the world. It originated in the two rivers (Tigris and Euphrates) basins, so it is also known as the two rivers civilization. The center of this civilization was probably in the area of ​​what is now Baghdad, the capital of Iraq.
  The earliest creators of the Mesopotamia civilization were the Sumerians who came from the eastern mountainous area around 4000 BC. According to archaeological data, they could make pottery and invented the earliest human writing – cuneiform. In 3000 BC, the Sumerians established the city-state, which was destroyed by the Akkadian kingdom in the 24th century BC. By 2191 BC, the Sumerians were revived and established the Third Dynasty of Ur, which was later destroyed by the Elamites and Amorites in 2006 BC. The Amorites founded the city-state of Babylon in 894 BC. Babylon started relatively weak, and gradually became stronger when the sixth king Hammurabi, unified the two river basins, and established the Kingdom of Babylon. By 1595 BC, the kingdom of Babylon was destroyed by the Hittites, and then the country that ruled the two rivers was the Assyrian Empire.
  In the 7th century BC, a group of Semites from the Western Desert moved into the city of Babylon, which belonged to the Assyrian Empire. They were the Chaldeans. In 626 BC, the Chaldeans destroyed the northern Assyrian Empire and re-established a new kingdom on the ruins of the ancient city of Babylon, which was historically called the “New Babylonian Kingdom”. During the reign of Nebuchadnezzar II (604 BC – 562 BC), the economy of the Neo-Babylonian Kingdom developed, the national strength was strong, and the city construction also showed an unprecedented prosperity. The capital building of the Neo-Babylonian Kingdom in this period is the symbol of the history of West Asia and the highest embodiment of the civilization of the two rivers. It is famous for its luxury and magnificence and interprets a period of glory of the Mesopotamian civilization. Famous examples are the “Hanging Gardens” and the “Ishtar Gate” of Neo-Babylon, one of the “Seven Wonders of the World”.
  The city of Babylon, rebuilt by Nebuchadnezzar II, is a square city about 13.2 kilometers long, and the Euphrates River passes through the city. The city walls are majestic and the palaces are magnificent. The city walls are based on bright blue. The patterns of lions, bulls and dragons composed of white and yellow are scattered throughout the city walls. They are arranged layer by layer from top to bottom, striding high. , lifelike. In addition to the luxurious palaces in the city (including the legendary Hanging Garden, one of the Seven Wonders of World History), 50 temples were also built (Babel Tower is the most important one). The Hanging Garden, called “Hanging Paradise” in Arabic, has a three-dimensional structure with a total of 7 floors and a height of 25 meters. dance to tune. There is a small stream flowing in the garden, and the stream is drawn from the Euphrates. The city is surrounded by two thick walls, with eight gates in total, and high towers throughout the walls. All city gates are named after gods, the most famous of which is the northern gate “Ishtar”. “Ishtar” is the world’s earliest epic – the goddess of love in the Babylonian heroic epic “Gilgamesh”. The Ishtar Gate was the main ceremonial passage to the temple and palace districts of Babylon at that time. It is actually a tall, square-shaped watchtower. The watchtower and the watchtower are connected by an arched aisle, which is particularly magnificent. The watchtower has a total of two city walls, up to 12 meters, with prominent towers on both sides. The walls of the city wall and the tower are made of navy blue glazed bricks, and the entire wall is inlaid with 575 reliefs of bison and dragon beasts made of ceramic tiles. Passing through this gate of Ishtar is a north-south avenue in the city. This avenue is very spectacular. The ancient grand sacred procession procession must pass through this avenue, so it is called the Holy Way. It is built with 1.05-meter-square limestone, with white and rose slate inlaid in the center, red slate on both sides, and cuneiform inscriptions on the slate. At the end of the Holy Path is the most majestic and tall Marduk Temple in the city. Marduk was the king of the gods in Babylon.
  The city of Babylon was built magnificently, fully showing the architectural level of the ancient Mesopotamia. Until more than 100 years later, when Herodotus, the Greek historian known as the “father of history”, came to Babylon, he still called it the most magnificent city in the world.
  The walls of the gates of Ishtar are covered with colored glazed tiles, and the blue tiles are inlaid with glazed relief decorations such as lions, bulls and dragons. The whole gate of Ishtar looks majestic and dignified, with dazzling colors, giving people a majestic and indestructible feeling.
  Compared with the decorative reliefs in ancient Assyrian palaces, this wall decoration shows a great leap in the wisdom of ancient art. Later Islamic architectural art in West Asia inherited the Neo-Babylonian decorative style in many aspects. In the use of glazed bricks, Eastern Arabian architecture has gained inspiration from ancient Babylonian architecture.
  The Ishtar Gate is now restored by the Rijksmuseum in Berlin.